Ummmm yes but .... if my husband tells me to stop talking to someone because it upsets him, and because this man told me he loved me, that would be it, I would stop immediately.
Immediately, and would never respond to any correspondence from him ever again. PERIOD!!!
Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Most of us would, yes, but unfortunately, not everybody sees the world the same way.
Like I said previously, I had a girl who was into me while I was dating somebody else, and (at that time) I saw no real issue with it - because *I* wasn't interested. My GF at the time wasn't happy, naturally, but from my POV, there wasn't much I could do. I certainly know better now, but at the time, I quite literally thought nothing of it. As far as I was concerned, I had zero interest in this other girl, therefore she was no threat to me, my GF or our relationship. I probably said things like "don't you trust me?", etc.
In this case, OP's wife is getting something from all of this, but I do think it's purely friendship and that nothing really points to her having, or previously having, any romantic thoughts or feelings towards him. She has a connection to him, to be sure, but I don't think she sees it as anything threatening the marriage.
The sticking point to me (and everybody else) is that HE doesn't view her as 'just a friend', and that's not okay, and therefore she should have ended it based on that, many years ago, if not out of loyalty to the marriage. This is what OP needs to get through to her, yet she seems stubborn and likely feels attacked (particularly in regards to prior accusations of legit cheating).
If my GF back in the day accused me of cheating on her with the other girl who liked me, I would have reacted quite similarly, simply because I truly did have absolutely no interest in her in that way. But my inaction on the matter didn't help things, nor does OP's wife's inaction - and worse, breaking her no contact agreement.
None of this points to "affair", IMO - just a lack of respect for her husband, and quite possibly herself.
Surely she should know that this guy has other intentions, or at least hopes. That he's purposefully always said the 'right things', and has generated an intimate rapport with her for these reasons, and has held out hope for all these years that things will fall into place for him.
Most of us (but apparently not her) would have shut this 'friendship' down the instant he professed his love for her. I have female friends, some married, some not. If one of them professed their love to me - knowing full well that I am married - I would instantly lose respect for them, and the friendship would be over. Same if I were single, and a married woman said that to me. That speaks to the character of that person, and that's not a character trait I'm interested in. For that reason alone, OP's wife should have stopped this years ago, IMO.